So I don't know a whole lot about wheels but need to get a set for my MTB tourer. I was thinking of a Rhyno-Lite wheelset, since that seems to be a common setup, but the only prebuilt 36h versions I've found online are from Harris Cyclery & they don't have them in black, which I want. There are plenty of 32h sets around for as little as $70 (w/Deore hubs and the 20% Nashbar discount). There are 36h Ditch Witch wheelsets at Nashbar for super cheap, too, but I don't know how suited they are for touring. I hear everyone say how you should get hand-built wheels but most of the LBS around here just want to order them from QBP, or wherever, anyway. Would it make any sense to buy a cheaper machine built wheel (for 1/3 the cost of the custom wheels) and then have checked for trueness locally (or learn how to do it myself) or should I just pony up a couple hundred dollars more for the extra 4 spokes and hand-built? I'm trying to be frugal with my buildup but will spend the money where I need to. What do you all think?
They have the Rhyno-Lite XL rims and the Mavic F519 for about the same price. Any opinions on one over the other? I appreciate the help since I'm getting very sick of all this shopping and want to get the bike on the road!
a bunch of them, most made by me, a couple made by others
I think at your weight Macha you could easily go with a 32 spoke wheel especially with a Sun Rhyno rim. I been riding with a pair of 32 spoke xt/ rhyno wheels ( from nashbar)on my rigid MTB with my weight of nearly 200 lbs for nearly two years without any problems other than a slight re-truing of the rear this spring. I have no personal experience with the mavic 519, I did read a complaint on another forum that claimed the 519 on thier bike was developing stress cranks around some of the spokes. I have never heard anyone else make this claim so I would probaly question it's validity.
I usually build my own wheels but I have to say the two sets of machine built wheels I have ( Nashbar on my MTB and Wheelsmith on my tandem) have never given me any problems.
Co-Motion cappu, Waterford Adventure Cycle, Thorn Nomad. Bike Friday New World Tourist x2. Klein Quantum Race. Eddy Merckx Team Kelme, Eddy Merckx Corsa, Klein Attitude Race x2. Rocky Mountain Sherpa, Novara Safari, Bianchi Axis, and a couple more.
A wheel with any amount of spokes could be trouble if not built properly. That said, I think 36 spokes in a 26" wheel are overkill. Yes, if all else is equal, 36 spokes will be stronger but Nancy and I have been using old Mavic rims and 32 spokes with high load weights and haven't had any problems yet. Go with the wheels that are built best.